5 Phenomenal Movie Foot Chases

As an action movie fan I love a good chase regardless of the kind – motorcycle, car or even on foot. It may surprise you just how many great foot chases there have been in movie history. So I decided to give some love to five great movie foot chases. I left out a few that certainly deserve mention, but these five were musts. Now as usual, I wouldn’t dare call this the definitive list. But there’s no denying that these 5 movie foot chases are absolutely phenomenal.

#5 – “Fast Five”

Vin Diesel star as Dominic Toretto in Universal Pictures' Fast Five.

The “Fast and Furious” series has made it’s reputation on fast rides and some ridiculously wild car chases. Who would have thought that one of the coolest scenes in 2011’s “Fast Five” would have been a foot chase? After meeting up at a safe house in Rio de Janeiro, Dom, Brian, and Mia find themselves boxed in by a crime lord’s armed thugs on one side and Special Agent Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and his team on the other. The three groups take off on a foot chase through the cramped, densely populated, hillside streets, running through tight alleys and jumping from rooftop to rooftop. It’s a high-octane edge-of-your-seat sequence.

#4 – “Point Break

POINT

In what was one part free-spirited surfer movie and one part gritty heist film, “Point Break” was a popular action romp from director Kathryn Bigelow. As Keanu Reeves’ undercover FBI agent gets close to arresting Patrick Swayze’s surfer bank robber the latter takes off on foot. Utah chases him into a neighborhood, over fences, through backyards and living rooms, and finally down a ravine where Reeves hurts his knee and Swayze gets away. It a furious chase with tight, close quarter camera work and even a touch of subtle humor.

#3 – “The Bourne Ultimatum

BOURNE

The third film of the Jason Bourne series featured the same intense, spy thriller action and around the world globetrotting that the series is known for. One of my favorite sequences is in Morocco. Bourne (Matt Damon) and his contact Nicky (Julia Stiles) is targeted by an asset sent to take them out. Nicky runs away, the assassin follows her, Bourne follows assassin. The three run through the crowded streets of Tangier and through a series of close, cramped houses before ending with the best fight scene of the entire series. It all comes together to make for one spectacular scene.

#2 – “Raising Arizona

raising-arizona

 

Leave it to Joel and Ethen Coen to give us not only one of the best foot chases in movie history but by far the funniest. In 1987’s “Raising Arizona” Nicholas Cage’s H.I. McDunnough gives in to his addiction and holds up a convenient store while his wife and kid are in the car outside. Once she realizes what he’s doing, she drives off leaving him behind. With the police arriving and the store clerk pulling out a .44 magnum that would make Dirty Harry proud, H.I. takes off on foot, lunatic cops and rabid dogs hot on his heels. Through suburban backyards, living rooms, and supermarkets. H.I. runs into an assortment of funny characters and hilarious obstacles. It’s hard to beat.

#1 – “Casino Royale”

It was director Martin Campbell’s “Casino Royale” from 2006 that officially made me a James Bond fan. Daniel Craig’s 007 brought a gritty more realistic Bond to the big screen. and I absolutely loved it. It doesn’t take long for the action to crank up in “Casino Royale”. We see Bond in Madagascar where he has tracked down a wanted bomb manufacturer. When his partner botches the apprehension, the suspect takes off on foot with 007 right behind him. I recently rewatched this scene preparing for this list and it still blows my mind. The chase takes the two to a high-rise construction site. They leap up scaffolding, run along steel girders, and fight on sky-high cranes. Then the chase takes them back to the ground, through the busy streets and finally to the Nabutu Embassy where it has an explosive ending. Even though it’s close to 10 minutes long, this chase keeps you glued to the screen. It’s beautifully shot, masterfully edited, and it serves as a wonderful introduction to this new era of Bond.

There you have it – my 5 Phenomenal Movie Foot Chases. See something I missed? Disagree with any of my choices? Please take time to share your favorite movie foot chase below.

27 thoughts on “5 Phenomenal Movie Foot Chases

  1. For once I won’t disagree with anything on your list 🙂 First one I thought of when I saw the title was the Point Break chase, that’s quite memorable. There is some of that parkour stuff in a movie called District B13, you can find it on YouTube. Not otherwise a very good movie.

    • I’m not familiar with District B13. I’ll look it up though. It’s funny you mentioned the Point Break chase because it was really the inspiration for this list. There was no way it wasn’t going to be included.

  2. Perfect summation of that first action scene in Casino Royale. That’s hands-down one of the best action sequences in the entire Bond canon, IMO. It’s so incredibly well-done, gripping, a brilliant use of space and like you said, despite the fact it’s 10 minutes long it just grabs you by the shirt and pulls you along. What an awesome way to begin

    • Stellar beginning to the Craig era. The way it’s shot blows my mind especially in an era where so many use shaky cams to nauseating degrees. I think I’m gonna show that movie to my kids over the weekend.

  3. Great idea for a movie list. you’ve listed the main ones. Point Break is my favorite foot chase in terms of the situation involved. Bodhi discovers that he’s a cop in that scene. But other footchases I can add are from Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (chasing the thief at night), The Firm had Tom Cruise running with his suitcase, and Al Pacino hiding and running in the ending of Carlitos Way.

  4. Casino Royale is the best choice as I have nothing bad to say about all 5 of your choices. One of my favorite foot-chases is in Captain America: Civil War as it relates to Bucky Barnes being on the run and Steve Rogers going after him as they both deal with a new player in the game that is the Black Panther. That was a damn good chase as Rogers kind of met his match in terms of physical conditioning.

  5. Great list in which I agree with all your choices. The most recent Mission: Impossible – Fallout had a brilliant foot chase with Tom Cruise racing across London via buildings and bridges. Cruise loves his running scenes!

  6. Great choices, Casino Royale is underrated! Personally, my #1 spot goes to District 13. (I think someone mentioned it below!) Insane chase sequences and stunt work.

    • I’m with you. I think a lot of people have forgotten just how good Casino Royale is. I was hoping to show it to my kids this weekend but it hasn’t worked out.

  7. After a bit of thought, two cracking 70’s foot-chases are the dockland one at the end of French Connection II and the chase through the market in Busting by Peter Hyams; they would make any top 10!

  8. Pingback: 5 Phenomenal Movie Foot Chases — Keith & the Movies | Los Angeles feedback film festival

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